Runner Spotlight: Rob Griesemer

Rob ran another 10 mile spring race in 2014: the Reston 10-miler
Rob ran another 10 mile spring race in 2014: the Reston 10-miler

Rob and I met during Potomac River Running Distance Training in 2014. Rob was training for the Marine Corps Marathon while I was training for the Philadelphia Half Marathon. Watching Rob run the MCM was inspirational. He showed true commitment and perseverance. And wouldn’t you know it – he ended up running the Philly Half, too!  

 
When did you begin running and why? I started running a little during my high school years. I trained for a few local 5Ks but that was really the extent of it. I then totally stopped running through college. I started gaining weight, and eventually got pretty out of shape. I couldn’t run one lap on the track without walking and wanted to change that. So I started running regularly, both as a way to get healthier and to have fun training & competing in local running events. I also set a goal at this time (mid 2012) to run a marathon within 1-2 years.
What is your proudest running moment? By far it was completing my first marathon, the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon. It’s not just one of my proudest running moments, but also one of my proudest life achievements. Training for and running a successful marathon requires hard work, dedicated training and commitment. Not many people can say they’ve run a marathon. The marathon experience is unlike any other, it’s a huge challenge both mentally and physically, the rewarding feeling of accomplishment after you complete it is indescribable.
Why did you sign up for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Training Program with Potomac River Running? The premium Cherry Blossom training program at =PR= running offered guaranteed entry into the race, which made signing up a no brainer for me. I didn’t win a spot in the lottery, so I was looking for another way into the race. I’ve trained with =PR= before for both of my marathons. =PR= Training is a great way to build some structure into your running life, meet new friends, learn running tips from others and really just become a better runner overall.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? I have not run it before.
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? I think the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler is one of the trademark races not only in the DC area but in the entire country each year. It attracts runners from all over the world. I’ve never run it before, so I am definitely looking forward to experiencing the race firsthand. I’ve run most of the course before during the Marine Corps Marathon or in training (I’m local to the DC area) so it should be awesome running a familiar route with all the crowd support and beautiful scenery in DC.
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? It’s hard to have a strict time goal in a race this big; sometimes you can get caught up in a big crowd and end up running off your goal pace. My main goal will be to complete the race successfully and healthy. My time goal which I’ll train for will be around a 1:15 but who knows, if my training goes better I might end up shooting for a faster time.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? My running mantra is “Just run.” I’ve never regretted going on a run. Rolling out of bed extra early in the morning can be so difficult, but I’m always so glad I did it afterwards. Same with signing up for a race that might scare you; I ran my first half marathon in 2013 and I was so nervous for the training and didn’t know if I could do it. If you take small enough steps and do the training properly, it’s really quite simple as long as you keep reminding yourself to “just run.”
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Determination
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? I’ve used New Balance shoes in the past and have always had a good experience. I go through a number of pairs of running shoes every year and will probably look into getting another pair of 1080v4’s. They’re a fairly neutral lightweight shoe which seems to work for me very well.
 
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? That they have raised over $5 billion over the course of their history (since 1983). That’s a very impressive accomplishment for a great cause. It’s great to see quality organizations like them sponsor and partner up with runners/running events.
Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrich blog smallKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.

About Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

Elizabeth is a writing mom on the run and was one of two Social Runners from 2012-2013. Originally from Maryland, Elizabeth now runs up and down the hills of Pittsburgh, PA, where things (like rivers) come in threes. She loves triathlons, has published three books and has three sons! She runs her own writing business and finds that a good long run is often the source of her creative ideas. Elizabeth loves being married to a great runner who was a finisher at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

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